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Aug. 13, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior defender Blakely Mattern and sophomore forward Kayla Grimsley have been selected to the third annual women’s soccer Coaches Preseason All-SEC team, the conference office announced Thursday.

Mattern (Simpsonville, S.C.) has been named to the list in all three years of its existence. She is a three-time postseason All-SEC selection and in 2007 became the first sophomore to earn SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors. A 2007 Soccer Buzz All-American and 2008 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American, Mattern has started every game of her career and is a three-time All-Southeast Region selection. In 2008, she was the leader of a defense that finished the season second in the SEC in shutouts (8) and ranked in the top two in every major defensive category, including goals allowed, points allowed, shots allowed and shots on goal allowed. The Gamecocks led the league in shots allowed (8.45/game) and shots on goal allowed (3.68/game).

Grimsley (Lakeland, Fla.) earns her first preseason honor after a strong freshman campaign that culminated in her earning second team All-SEC honors, SEC All-Freshman team honors and Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region honors. She led the team in her rookie season with eight goals and six assists for 22 points, making her only the second freshman and seventh player overall to score 20 points in a season at South Carolina. She tied the program record with a six-match scoring streak that began with the start of conference play, and she became the only freshman in Gamecock history to score a goal in four consecutive matches. She twice earned SEC weekly honors and brought home four national team of the week honors last season.

LSU led all schools with three selections while Florida and South Carolina each had two. The coaches preseason All-SEC team consists of a minimum of 11 players. Each SEC head soccer coach voted for three forwards, three midfielders, three defenders, one goalkeeper and one at-large candidate.

South Carolina opens its season Friday, August. 21 with an exhibition match against the Mexican National Team at the MESA Soccer Complex in Greenville, S.C. The Gamecocks begin the regular season at home against College of Charleston on Thursday, Aug. 27th, the first game between the in-state rivals since the 2002 season.

2009 SEC Soccer Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

Player Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown
Carrie Patterson, Georgia# F 5-7 Sr. Atlanta, Ga.
Rachel Yepez, LSU F 5-1 Sr. Fayetteville, N.C.
Kayla Grimsley, South Carolina F 5-4 So Lakeland, Fla.
Katy Frierson, Auburn MF 5-5 So. Homewood, Ala.
Ashlee Elliott, Florida MF 5-9 Sr. Corona, Calif.
Malorie Rutledge, LSU MF 5-5 Sr. Sharpsburg, Ga.
Mick Imgram, Tennessee MF 5-7 Sr. Clifton, Va.
Lauren Hyde, Florida D 5-9 Sr. Carmel, Ind.
Danielle Johnson, Ole Miss D 5-5 Sr. Baton Rouge, La.
Blakely Mattern, South Carolina D 5-9 Sr. Simpsonville, S.C.
Mo Isom, LSU GK 6-0 So. Marietta, Ga.

#-Unanimous Selection